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Business News

Covid-19: WHO opposes proof of vaccination for international travel

According to the WHO, countries should know that requiring proof of vaccination deepens inequities and promotes unequal freedom of movement.

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The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee has opposed the request of proof of vaccination as a condition of entry for international travel.

This is due to the limited evidence on whether vaccination against Covid-19 is able to reduce the transmission of the disease and the persistent inequity in the global distribution of the vaccine.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the WHO after the seventh meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which was convened by the global health body’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

READ: Covid-19: FG discloses why it is pausing vaccinations soon in some states

The recommendation by the WHO’s Emergency Committee is coming as various countries are considering the idea of launching vaccine passports for travellers and for other activities including sports.

The Committee said that countries should know that requiring proof of vaccination deepens inequities and promotes unequal freedom of movement.

The statement from the WHO’s Emergency Committee partly reads, “Do not require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, given the limited (although growing) evidence about the performance of vaccines in reducing transmission and the persistent inequity in the global vaccine distribution.

“States Parties are strongly encouraged to acknowledge the potential for requirements of proof of vaccination to deepen inequities and promote differential freedom of movement.’’

READ: COVID-19: Over 700 thousand Nigerians vaccinated in March

The statement also pointed out the following:

  1. Prioritize vaccination for seafarers and aircrews in line with the Joint statement on prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers and aircrew. Special attention should be paid to seafarers who are stranded at sea and who are stopped from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions, including requirements for proof of COVID-19 vaccination, to ensure that their human rights are respected.
  2. Implement coordinated, time-limited, risk-based, and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international traffic, in line with WHO guidance and IHR provisions. If States Parties implement quarantine measures for international travellers on arrival at their destination, these measures should be based on risk assessments, and consider local circumstances.
  3. Reduce the financial burden on international travellers for the measures applied to them for the protection of public health (e.g. testing, isolation/quarantine, and vaccination), in accordance with Article 40 of the IHR.
  4. Share information with WHO on the effects of health measures in minimizing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during international travel to inform WHO’s development of evidence-based guidelines.

What you should know

  • The European Union member states have already agreed on vaccine certificates, China has launched a health certificate program for travellers, and airline companies are also considering requiring vaccination proof.
  • The US had earlier this month said that it would not require vaccination passports but added that the private sector was free to explore the idea.
  • The WHO, for now, has only approved 3 vaccines for the coronavirus—the one manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine made in India and South Korea, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business News

Nigeria’s revenue crisis may further worsen as India cuts oil imports by $39.5 billion

The revenue to be earned by Nigeria has come under further threat due to India’s drop in crude oil importation.

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Now that oil is recovering, when will naira recover?

The revenue to be earned by Nigeria has come under further threat due to India’s drop in crude oil importation.

Data from India’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed that the country, which took over from the United States as Nigeria’s largest crude oil importer, reduced crude oil imports by $39.5 billion in April, compared to the same time the previous year.

According to a report from Punch, the Indian High Commission in Nigeria said that India’s crude oil imports from Nigeria in 2020 amounted to $10.03 billion, representing 17% of Nigeria’s total crude exports for the year.

India has been badly hit by a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic which led to a spike in infections in April and lockdown in major cities with the attendant negative effect on Nigeria’s oil sales.

The NNPC was prompted to drop the official standard price of its main export streams, Bonny Light, Brass River, Erha, and Qua Iboe, by 61-62 cents per barrel, below its April 2021 prices. They traded at $0.9, $0.8, $0.65, $0.97 per barrel respectively, below international benchmarks, as Oilprice.com showed.

India had been a major buyer of the not-too-light and not-too-heavy Nigerian crude that suited its refiners with the Indian Oil Corporation’s refineries reported to be operating at 95% capacity in April, down from 100%.

An official at the IOC was quoted as saying, “If cases continue to rise and curbs are intensified, we may see cuts in refinery runs and lower demand after a month.”

India reportedly bought more American and Canadian oil at the expense of Africa and the Middle East, reducing purchases from members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to around 2.86 million barrels per day.

Bottom line

This is not good news for Nigeria which is facing a serious revenue crisis as a result of a drop in crude oil receipts.

The federal government is also being forced by the prevailing realities to consider cutting the cost of governance and reducing the salaries of government workers. The latter proposal has, however, been criticized by various stakeholders.

A slump in crude oil demand from Nigeria’s major buyer will further worsen the economic crisis the country is facing having just marginally recovered from a recession in the last quarter of 2020.

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Business

Insecurity: Police to investigate threats by IPOB, Oodua Republic agitators in Lagos

The Lagos State Police Commissioner has revealed that threats by IPOB and Oodua Republic have come under its intelligence radar.

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The Nigerian Police says it will investigate threats made by separatist groups including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and agitators of Oodua Republic to attack soft targets in Lagos.

This was disclosed by Hakeem Odumosu, Commissioner of Police in Lagos State in a meeting to discuss insecurity in the state at Alausa in Ikeja, on Monday, according to a Vanguard report.

What the Police is saying about alleged IPOB and Oodua Republic threats in Lagos

“Our intelligence report revealed that, most miscreants now: Use abandoned buildings as hideouts and in most cases, initiation camp, use uncompleted buildings, dwelling house and hotels to hibernate before and after the commission of a crime,” the Police Chief said.

Furthermore, the threat of IPOB to attack soft targets in Lagos is equally being put on the radar of the command intelligence gathering and other security services in the state. Strategies are being put in place to neutralize their activities.

Similarly, the command has taken notice of agitators for the Oodua Republic by some Yoruba separatist groups and the threats to disrupt law and order in the state. 24 of these groups have been identified and are being closely monitored.

The command is using this medium to solicit for the support of all and sundry to be vigilant at all times and report any suspicious person or movement to security agencies. Let us adopt the slogan of “when you see something, say something,” he added.

What you should know

Today, the Lagos State Police Command said in a statement that: “Increase in robbery incidents were as a result of people migrating from troubled states down to Lagos. The government and relevant security agencies including RRS are doing their best in protecting members of the public.”

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